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Wife Battery and Criminal Justice: A Study of Victim Decision-Making

David A. Ford
Family Relations
Vol. 32, No. 4 (Oct., 1983), pp. 463-475
DOI: 10.2307/583685
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/583685
Page Count: 13
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Wife Battery and Criminal Justice: A Study of Victim Decision-Making
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Abstract

A woman seeking to prosecute a violent husband is likely to find the criminal justice system far less concerned and responsive than she expects. This study of 325 battered women in Marion County, Indiana, suggests that the prosecution process is governed as much by chance as by rational procedures. Findings demonstrate that a woman's decision to invoke criminal justice was affected not only by her special needs but by her interaction with agents of the criminal justice system. Their discretion created uncertainty in outcomes and their discrimination on the basis of victim-offender conjugal status often rendered a victim's efforts useless.

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